Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Learning Journey

My very first keynote presentation was to an amazing group of gifted and talented educators at the "Developing Possibilities" conference held in Storm Lake, IA. I was honored that Shari Collins asked me to present my story and passion for creativity.

The main points of my talk were:
 -Make connections, let them bring out your passion. For me, I learned about a program called "Stationery Studio" and fell in love with a company that designs amazing software and has a huge mission that showed me how passionate I was about creativity. Through that first connection, I was beyond blessed to be able to meet and fall in love with Peter H. Reynolds and software designer, Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns
I was also fortunate to have a friend at school, Brent Thoren, who took one of the lessons I created for "Animation-Ish" and had kids do it as an assignment, even before the program was on the market, to test it out. Having people who support you along the way is so important, I was lucky to have one of the best.
-Share your ideas with the right people. I shared the small idea of having kids make dots in their classrooms with Peter H. Reynolds and it took off because he loved the idea and supported it. He had the brilliance of calling it International Dot Day, setting the bar fantastically high. 
-Find people who share your passion. The first explosion of Dot Day happened when Shannon M. Miller and John Schumacher shared with their schools and social networks.
The second major milestone happened when Newbery Medal winning author, Sharon Creech, kindly sent me a dot on Dot Day 2011. That one act of kindness launched the Celebridot site. One of the huge blessings in my life is to be connected with the very best authors and illustrators on the planet who were kind enough to make dots to inspire kids to be creative.
I shared examples of how creativity has impacted my school and my classroom. So many awesome connections have established because of my passion for creativity in the classroom. Watching kids create amazing things feeds the passion in me. 
International Dot Day has allowed me to meet and build enduring friendships with the very best educators all around the world. Search #DotDay on Twitter and find amazing educators with amazing creativity and heart.
I challenged the educators at my session to share a dot with me. I am so honored that some of these great people sent me a dot and shared what they are passionate about. Below are the dots they sent, I was so impressed with all of them!!

What are you passionate about and what are you doing every day to feed that passion?

Inisha Hoehamer

Terry Van Berkum

Marleta Smith

Shari Collins

Rebecka Allen

Vickie Hemmingson

Julie Gibson

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Photoshop Tricks-Splash Bravely

Recently, I was asked to present at a conference. Since I was talking about International Dot Day and reading "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds, I wanted to model the theme of the book and bravely make a splash. So, to that end, I painted the slide background and the backgrounds for the important quotes. I used watercolors for some and my iPad for others. I used a fun method to invert the words and the background and wanted to show it here in case others want to do it. 

Final Look:
Awesome author, Sharon Creech recently shared how to make Orbs from pictures on Photoshop, You can find the directions on her blog

 Other Examples: